Simu Liu wasn’t an expert with his fighting skills before being cast in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. However, in a recent episode of Variety’s Actors on Actors series, Marvel star talked with West Side Story star Ariana DeBose. In the conversation, the Marvel star gets candid on how he “exaggerated” the skill that his titular character was trained in his entire life.
Simu Liu revealed when he got the part, he was asked about his martial-arts background and experience. Shang-Chi actor said, “of course, I exaggerated because I wanted the job really badly.” While he “had done some work as an on-again, off-again stuntman,” the actor admitted, “If we’re honest, I think I was more of a dancer than I ever was a martial artist.”
But he made up for it, as “Pretty much from the moment I was cast, I started working with trainers and learning how to move.” “I had such awful flexibility before,” Liu said. “My groin and my tendons were just so stiff. A big part of that early process was just bending my body and trying to rip those legs apart.” Liu also touched on working with Tony Leung (whom he calls ‘the GOAT’) and Michelle Yeoh, who play Shang-Chi’s father and aunt, respectively, in the superhero film.
According to Liu, Leung, and Yeoh are “very different people, but” both possess “an aura of warmth and friendliness.” Simu Liu also shared that “Tony is famously shy, and very, very soft-spoken. You would never know his stature and his fame just by looking at him because he is just such a well-mannered individual.”
Shang-Chi star went on saying, “And then the camera rolls, and then you see the intensity in his eyes, and you’re like, ‘Holy crap. I’m literally watching mastery unfold.” “Tony is such a master of the art of stillness, of these tiny changes, that it almost doesn’t even feel like he’s doing anything,” Liu continued. “But then you look at the monitor and you’re like, ‘Holy, this guy is breaking my heart.’